Well, the end of summer is upon us. Only a couple more weeks and the kids will be back in school. The twins have graduated to middle school status. Where has the time gone? It’s no secret that this is my least favorite age. They go from being innocent to hormonal. They sleep a lot, which irritates me (yes, I know it’s normal). And they start to push boundaries. It makes my job harder.
The one thing I do like about this age is that they begin to make their walk with God their own. They begin to understand the Word better. They create a relationship with Him. And that relationship will grow as they experience different trials. They will fail and learn the important lesson of humility. They will make bad choices learning to receive forgiveness. They will struggle learning to rely on the strength of the Lord. This is the time in their lives where they begin to trust God and He becomes more real to them.
Jonah’s headed to public middle school. He will see things and hear things that are completely inappropriate. He will experience things that will hurt his feelings and make him angry. But I’m praying for that boy. I’m praying he’ll find some good Christian friends to hang with. There is a Christian ministry that works out of his school and he will join that. I’m praying he will thrive in the things that interest him like music and game design. Mostly, I’m praying that Jonah will see God. He will recognize his voice. He will see His hand. Because, if he learns to be aware of God; he can handle anything.
“Peter replied, ‘Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.’ ‘I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.’ But Peter declared, ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And all the other disciples did the same. (Matt. 26: 33-34 NIV)
Peter was a bold man. He insisted he would never deny Christ. He “declared” he would never disown Jesus and yet he did. He denied Him not once, but three times…so much for being fearless. Because God wastes nothing, He used Peter’s denial to teach him.
Peter learned many things through his denial. He learned that you should never say “never”. We are all capable of sin, even the most heinous. He never thought he would do something of this magnitude. But it was this very denial that solidified his relationship with Christ because he no longer relied on his strength, he relied on Christ. He understood he is flawed and needs a Savior. And he learned to let God lead, not his ego.
Peter also learned humility. He learned that he had no ground to judge others because he had fallen into the worst sin, denying Christ. He became a more compassionate disciple because he understood what it was to fail miserably. And he truly understood forgiveness. He knew what it felt like to have the burden lifted and replaced with grace. He understood it because he experienced it.
As much as I hate to think about what Jonah will experience as he moves on in life, I know God loves him. I know God’s got his best interest at heart. I know He has big plans for Jonah. What I also know is that his experiences will shape his relationship with God.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)
- Cherished (adisplayofsplendor.com)